Holistic Approach to Wellness

Sandi’s Reviews

Aroma Foundry Essential Oils

Got some Aroma Foundry’s essential oils to try and was so impressed by the packaging and energy that went into their products. They believe “My Body is My Temple” which is right along the lines of what Karmic Health believes and breaths in daily.

Some of my favorite essential oils here are Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Peppermint and Eucalyptus. Tried them all in my diffuser and love the aromas.

Aroma Foundry is a California company who makes the oils in small batches and they are inexpensive compared to most out there. In addition to that, it’s nice not to have to sign up for a multi level marketing program to buy their oils.

They have a pretty good selection. Not too extensive but worth checking out www.aromafoundry.com


Almond Flour Crackers

Simple Mills Launches Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cracker Line (PRNewsFoto/Simple Mills)

Just had a healthy home made bowl of organic chicken soup for lunch with some sundried tomato and basil almond crackers. Simple Mills puts out some great vegan, gluten free, soy free, paleo friendly (grain free) crackers. Nice to see grain free crackers that taste good. They combine almonds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds along with cassava and tapioca to make the crackers and season with some organic herbs. Love the flavors and texture. A little bummed the price is a bit high coming in over $4.00 a box. Had to grab this one on sale. Great job Simple Mills. You can check out Simple Mills website where you will see other products such as baking mixes.

 


Activated Superfood Cereal

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I’m not one for cereal in the morning because of the importance of protein (within an hour of waking up) but made an exception this morning with Activated Superfood Cereal by Living Intentions.  I’m pretty sure I will be having my smoothie in an hour anyhow. Looking at the ingredients they have several sprouted gluten free grains which is to be expected in their cereal however I was surprised to see concord apple juice in addition to coconut palm sugar. I like the probiotic Bacillus Coagulans, good for GI health although it doesn’t specify how much and should not be used in place of a good probiotic. Consider it an added bonus. If we were to compare this cereal to most on the shelf, this one wins hands down. There is minimal processing along with sprouted grains which are easy on the digestive system compared to processed grains. The sprouted grain products on the market are produced in very controlled environments so that the sprouting is stopped at the right time: a grain that has been allowed to grow into a cereal grass has passed the point of human digestibility. All in all this would be the better choice for a cereal.


Activated Sprouted Trail Mix

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Living Intentions is one of my favorite products on the market I must say. Today I’m sampling Activated Sprouted Trail Mix Wild Berry. They have a few to choose from like the Spicy Mango pictured above. Might have to try that one next time.  All their stuff is organic, raw, sprouted, plant based and of course vegan and gluten free. Prices are not cheap as to be expected for a quality product so when it’s on sale buy it. Love the blend of raw nuts, sprouted seeds, cacao nibs and superfruits. It only takes a 1/4 cup (healthy serving) and you get some good nutrition. The protein is 3 grams with 2 grams of fiber so not high but great for a pick me up. Sugar comes in at 7 grams which isn’t bad.


Core Meal to Go Bars

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I have to say I love what the company Core Foods is all about. I have been checking their bars out for awhile now so decided to try one. There are 4 flavors in Sprouts that I saw so had to check out the nutrition label for sugar, protein and fiber levels. All but the Cashew Cacao averaged around 17 grams I believe which is too high if you’re watching your daily intake of sugar. I know it comes from natural sources like raisins but, again if sugar is a problem then opt for the Cashew bar. I like that it had 12 grams of protein, 6 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fiber but the taste was bland. Add a pinch of some Himalayan Salt and I think it would elevate flavor. I’m not a fan of eating raw oats either after trying it a few ways so maybe it’s just me on this tasting. Oats are controversial when it comes to a gluten free diet and definitely for those with inflamed guts.  Would love to hear feed back from anyone who has tried these. Check out Core Foods to learn more about their mission.


tosi Super Bites

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Being the one who thinks beyond gluten free I am happy to find snacks that are more on the healthy side without soy, dairy or ingredients from outer space. I saw tosi Super Bites and had to give them a try. First off, it’s nice to see organic and only a handful of ingredients (almonds or cashews, flaxseed, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cane juice and sea salt) with the exception of sugar; however it’s one of the last ingredients which is good. The only thing I might change is switching cane sugar to coconut sugar.  They have several flavors and also have the bites made with cashews. Love the crunch and sweetness when I’m in the mood for a treat. If you’re comparing these to all the bars out there this might be a good choice when your looking for protein bars with lower sugars. Some of those bars out there have a days worth of sugar (25+ grams). I will be keeping some of these in my car. They are perfect to keep on hand for a nice snack. Way to go tosi.

 


Trader Joes Coconut Milk

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Some things are not better at Trader Joes! Made curry last night and when I opened this can of coconut milk I bought at Trader Joes it was very watery. Won’t be buying this again. Doubt it would work for making coconut ice cream either. Same goes for their coconut and almond milk at Trader Joes. Mostly water.


GOLEAN Clusters

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My husband and I have been craving cereal for sometime now, which is a treat to have in the house so I found a new one to try today at Sprouts. Well, let’s just say I saved my receipt and I’m taking the box back. Yuk! The cereal looks nothing like the picture on the box which happens more times than you would like; but that wasn’t the worst of it. The cereal tastes like saw dust or raw oats from the bottom of the barrel. You can taste the sugar as if it was trying to mask the chalky flavor and texture. I think I saw 2 nuts in the whole box as well. You remember back in the day when you ate Cracker Jacks (hope you’re not still eating that) and you dug around for the peanuts and you were disappointed to only find a few? Well, it was kind of like that only the cereal part was not good either. Sorry Kashi but I am taking the box back!


Natural Cleaners

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One thing you can do for your family is to switch as much of your household cleaners as possible to safer choices. Here I have Seventh Generations Bleach without Chloride, Meyers dish soap and Meyers hand soap refill. All great clean products worth checking out. Can get at most stores and online. Check them out: Seventh Generation and Mrs Meyers. Also, check out our page on Environmental Toxins to learn more.


Primal Bars

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Thought I would give Primal Kitchen Bars a try. Purchased them off Thrive Market (an online membership purchasing sight for a discounted cost on natural products). The ingredients and concept intrigued me. Great ingredients including grass-fed collagen which I’m a big fan of.  Other ingredients: Almonds, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Grass-Fed Collagen, Isomalto-Oli – gosaccharides (Cassava Root), Water, Coconut Flakes, Honey, Natural Flavors, Coconut Oil, Bitter Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, Monk Fruit Extract, Tocopherols (Vitamin E). Nutrition facts are good with 15 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar. These bars of gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free – yeah! Love the bars and do like to keep them on hand for a quick go to snack. They are a bit pricey as are most “paleo” products right now. From Thrive Market they are $27 for a 12 pack vs. $35.95 on Primal Kitchens site. When you break it down it is comparable to what we pay in the store for a similar product. Worth a try if you have a clean diet!

 


Face Tissue – Tree Free

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Cruising around Trader Joe’s I saw they carry a tree free facial tissue. Pretty cool hey? Price was right coming in around $1.40. Did you know 900 million trees are harvested for paper alone? That’s a staggering number and if there is an alternative solution then I’m all for it. True Green Company has created a great product made with sugar cane and bamboo grass. Now that’s a better way to use sugar (on the body, not in it)! I liked the feel. It’s soft yet holds up to any tissue I’ve used. Part of their proceeds go to Arbor Day Foundation, in support of planting trees in the USA. Fabulous! Check them out www.truegreen2.com. They carry an array of products including take out containers!


Nori Sesame Popcorn

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Hmmm – well this was worth a try. Any chance I can get some seaweed in my diet I’m game. Seaweed is fantastic for pulling toxins out of the body and give is some great nutrients. Wasn’t sure if I liked the taste at first but it did grow on me. Was a different flavor than I usually like on my popcorn which is nutritional yeast (tastes great so let’s hope they think of that one). I love reading the stories behind these companies. Always starts with a passion for something healthy and new. They have other flavors so if you’re not a Nori fan, try another flavor. Each bag runs around $4 which is a bit pricey for popcorn but hey, they added a gourmet flair so why not. Check them out at www.popartsnacks.com.


Theo Dark Chocolate Bar

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Who doesn’t love chocolate? Well, there is a big difference in chocolate among the hundreds of choices out there. When looking for a chocolate treat, the higher the chocolate percentage the less sugar so try to get 70% or higher. Dark chocolate also does not contain dairy for the most part however, always look a the ingredients. In addition, watch for other ingredients, especially if you are gluten and dairy free. Some may contain pretzels (gluten) or caramel (dairy), etc., I love sea salt and almonds so of course I went for Theo’s Organic (did I say they are also organic?) almond, sea salt, dark chocolate bar. It’s rich and creamy with an amazing flavor. Check them out online and read their story at www.theochocolate.com.


Mediterranean Crackerz

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Here’s a Paleo Vegan Gluten free cracker for you. Mediterranean Crackerz are fabulous and as a fellow nutritionist I respect her mission to provide a non traditional cracker with some healthy ingredients. Jilz Crackerz are made only with the best real food like almond meal, chia, flax and apple cider vinegar. A delicious, simple seeded cracker for the Gluten-free, Paleo, and Vegan! www.jilzglutenfree.com. Yes, you will pay more but there is no comparison with basic rice crackers.


Body Lotion 3 in 1

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If you are like me, you are always open to try a good, clean body lotion. My skin is usually dry but I don’t like anything too greasy when it comes to body lotion. Found Everyone Lotion as Sprouts so thought I’d give it a try. It was clean as far as ingredients and liked the idea that it was good for the face as well; not that I use it on my face. I like how it absorbs quickly and feels really light on my skin. It did seem a bit too light for my dry skin however if you want something light and natural this might be worth a try. I might doctor it up with some carrier oil like apricot to give it a richer texture.


Optique Homeopathic Eye Drops

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Last week, I somehow broke a blood vessel in my right eye. Was rubbing it and felt like my contact had got stuck in the right corner. Ended up being a subconjunctival hemorrhage which basically means a broken blood vessel. Looks a lot worse than it as long as it doesn’t bleed into the cornea area. Luckily for me, I knew it was a simple injury from rubbing my eye. If you are on medications, or have high blood pressure that might be another story. Knowing it wasn’t serious for me because I knew what caused it and I had no other concerns from HPB or medications, I picked up some homeopathic eye drops called Optique 1. Used them several times a day to help with the healing process. My eyes immediately started to clear right where the drops were landing in my eye. The drops also helped relieve any dryness that occurred due to the injury. You can purchase these drops at any health store like Sprouts, Jimbos, Whole Foods, etc.,  They also work well as a general eye drop for irritate eyes such as allergies and there are no drugs in them whatsoever. Yeah!


Living Waters Rejuvenation Treatments

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Had a wonderful experience with Roxanne, founder of Living Waters Rejuvenation Center this week. Got to experience the Cellulite/Lymph Sauna Combo treatment. I don’t have cellulite however I was looking at detoxing the lymph. The treatment was a lot more relaxing than I anticipated. The first 30 minutes you’re laying comfortably on a table as you are treated with an ultra sound type wand that they strategically place around your lymphatics to release stagnation. Your face is included to help release sinus congestion. From there you go into the infrared sauna for 30 minutes and sweat all those toxins out. I was pleasantly surprised I lasted 28 minutes as I usually only spend 10 minutes in the infrared sauna at my gym. The key is the temperature. Living Waters puts the temperature around 135 degrees where the gym has it set around 150 – 160 I believe, which is way too hot. So, after I stepped out in a glow of sweat I was able to get that wiped down then step onto the Body Vibration machine for 10 minutes. That helps shake loose those toxins so you can finish releasing them by drinking plenty of water for the next 48 hours. I felt amazing afterwards. It’s necessary to keep the lymphatic system moving and it does not do it on it’s own. This is a great alternative for those who don’t like colonics, although that is a wonderful way to remove toxins from the colon. Toxins, old fecal matter can be stuck in areas of the colon and build up which is not good for the GI tract.  It’s a very comfortable non invasive treatment and the staff is wonderful in making you feel safe and relaxed. There are times where a colonic is not recommended such as with Colitis, Crones and some other GI disorders. All in all I highly recommend Living Waters and look forward to my next treatment in a few months. Feel free to check them out at www.livingwaterrejuvenation.com.

Cellulite/Lymph Sauna Combo
1 hour 10 minute includes:
30 min Electro-Lymphatic Therapy (targeting cellulite),
30 min Far Infrared Sauna &
10 min Whole Body Vibration

One session $80
Series of 3 $225– $15 savings


Collagen

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One of the best ways to get collagen is using hydrolyzed collagen. Easily absorbed (Great Lakes Brand) and can be added to any beverage. 2 tablespoons 1-2 times per day will give you great protein and many other benefits like joint health, skin and hair health, GI health and connective tissue repair. Collagen contains amino acids such as glycine, lysine and proline that can be used by the body to build connective tissue. Great Lakes is a great brand to check out. Try adding it to coffee with some almond milk.


Primal Jerkey

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Love to have healthy, #glutenfree protein options on hand for a quick snack. When it comes to packaged items I’m always looking closely at the labels. Primal has put out some great jerkey’s that are gluten free and use #organic ingredients. I chose the #grassfed beef and found it quite tasty. Wasn’t too salty or sweet which is quite common with jerkeys. The only bummer is the price point and amount you get but when you are on a mission to choose healthier options we pay for it. So with that being said, enjoy! Can check them out at Primal 


Disinfecting Wipes

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I’m always on the look out for improving environmental toxins in my home. Seventh Generation is a fabulous company who’s mission is to educate and provide us with cleaner options for our household needs. One of the many items from Seventh Generation I like. You can purchase in most stores and online. Best advise is to switch out as many toxic cleaners, soaps, etc., in your house to a safer option.


Tumeric Paleo Wraps

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For those staying away from carbs whether you’re on a candida cleanse or on the Paleo diet these are fantastic. I took some left over #organic thai curry and put some in a wrap for lunch. Taste is very good. They are shelf stable and the only ingredients is coconut meat. Great product. A bit pricey but worth it if you are looking for healthy alternatives to your typical processed wraps. Their available in most health food stores and online. Check out Julian Bakery or can buy at a discount on Thrive Market.


Whenever Bars by Pamela’s

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Most of Pamela’s products contain dairy so I was happy to give one of their fairly new products a try. Whenever Bars are not your typical bar, rather a new name for a cookie to be honest. They were tasty I admit but I would eat them sparingly because of the ingredients: oats, agave, chocolate chips, cane sugar, cocoa paste, vanilla, coconut sugar (yikes – that is the 3rd sugar used so far), flour blend of brown rice, white rice, tapioca starch, sweet rice flour (more carbs/sugar), xantham gum. salflower oil, eggs, pecans, cocoa, gluten free flavor (have no idea what that means), sea salt, baking soda, expresso, xantham gum and orange oil. Whew…. that is a lot of ingredients in one recipe. Now you can see why it’s considered more of a treat. You can check out Pamela’s at www.pamelasproducts.com


Jerky + Trail Mix

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While I was walking through the Natural Product Expo I was getting frustrated as all the products seem to be the same with the exception of new flavors on nut mixes. This seemed to be the new thing (flavored nuts) not surprisingly with the #paleo movement. Just as I said that I ran into this booth – Dick Stevens Jerky + Trail Mix. What a great concept. The jerky is gluten free and comes in many varieties (chicken, beef and bison). What they have done different here is added some dried fruit. I love the concept and look forward to seeing them in the stores. Check them out at www.dickstevens.com. Great alternative to those with nut allergies who want a nice trail mix alternative.


Coral White Toothpaste

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For some reason I was all about oral health at the Expo last week for a good reason. We sometimes forget when we are healing our gut we also need to pay attention to oral health. There are some healthy toothpastes out there but it’s always good to see more options. Coral White is made with xylitol and is fluoride free. What makes them unique is their formulation with Above Sea Coral Calcium. I personally like the hydrogen peroxide they use. If you have a water pick use a diluted version of hydrogen peroxide to clean your gums. Can check them out at www.coralcalcium.com


EO Products

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Was able to get a sample of the shower gel and deodorant wipes from the Expo last week. I already love EO products. They are clean and use only essential oils and plant based ingredients. I also get the hand sanitize and carry that in my purse. You might get lucky at Marshalls or TJ Max to find their products because they are a bit pricey but worth the investment. Check out their website: EOproducts.com


Go Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds

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If you want a great healthy protein #paleo #vegan #glutenfree snack this is for you. Did you know pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are excellent for balancing blood sugar? Eat 2 ounces of these daily either on salads or straight out of the bag and get a protein boost. I keep a bag in my car for that go to snack. Can get this at Costco which is much more cost effective. Great job – great product!


TigerNut Flour

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Get this – TigerNut flour boasts versatility in both savory and sweet recipes. This nut-free and gluten-free flour can replace white flour with similar results – and it actually rises in baking! TigerNuts are not actually nuts but small root vegetables. Around 2 million years ago in the heart of Africa, our Paleo ancestors relied heavily upon this super-root, making up to 80% of their diet. TigerNuts are the #1 wholefood source of resistant starch, an essential prebiotic fiber that resists human digestion and becomes fuel for our probiotics. It’s a superfood for sure and a great #paleo, #glutenfree option. I had to try this in my paleo cookies in place of almond meal and was pleasantly surprised. The cookies didn’t last long The only downfall is the price point. Each bag will run you about $15 so use it sparingly as a well deserved treat.

 


Maximum Vibrance Powder

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I love Vibrant Health’s greens that I add to my morning smoothie along with OptiCleanse protein powder so when I saw their new product with protein added I wanted to give it a try. It’s a great combination of pant protein, probiotics and vitamins all in one powder along with some super foods like turmeric root. This one is top shelf if you want an all in one product. This does not replace food you should be eating to get antioxidants, etc., like organic fresh veggies but it’s a great way to start the day as a super food powder for your morning smoothie.


Coconut Milk Creamer

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I’ve been using almond milk for quite sometime in my organic coffee but I’m always open to trying new things as long as they as on the healthy side. Found this coconut milk creamer (different from the coffee creamers were use to seeing loaded with sugar) at Sprouts. I’m sure most stores carry this now. Less than 1 gram of sugar, made with coconut cream it’s not bad. Cost wise it might be too close to the actual coconut milk (unsweetened of course or vanilla flavor). It wasn’t as thick as I thought but it was a nice switch from almond milk. Great for my week end coffee creamer.


Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

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Was in the mood for a nice dark chocolate peanut butter cup today but have to say was very disappointed. Although the expiration date was a few months out I found the chocolate to be dis-colored and the peanut butter inside was very dry. So much it crumbled. I’ve bought these before and didn’t have that problem so my thought is Jason’s needs to reconsider their expiration dates so we can enjoy a creamy chocolate peanut butter cup every time.


Paleo Bars

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I have to say at first I was turned off by the ingredient Grass Fed Beef Protein in a bar but I tell you the bar tastes great! Very simple healthy ingredients to follow: almonds, coconut, cocoa powder, orange pulp, vanilla, stevia sea salt and for those soy intolerant people it has sunflower lecithin (most products in the store have soy lecithin). In one bar you get 20 grams of protein and 2 grams of sugar. Now that’s what I call a paleo bar. I get asked all the time about bars. This is one I will recommend. Great job!


Sprouted Seeds

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I have to say Living Intentions is one of my favorite companies when it comes to healthy raw snacking. Picked up sprouted sunflower & greens seeds and WOW very yummy! They have a bite to them because of the jalapeno and have great benefits as well because of the spirulina, chlorella and blue green algae. These are great right out of the bag or sprinkled on a salad for extra flavor. Doesn’t get any better than organic, raw, sprouted, gluten free and vegan.


Golden Berries

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Oh yes! Tart and sweet Andean Superfruit. Love these little gems full of fiber, vitamin A and potassium they are sure worth having on hand. Another raw organic superfood that comes with a price but well worth the investment. I was lucky and found them on sale at Sprouts. Navitas puts out some fantastic healthy foods. I wasn’t so keen on the Mulberry texture or taste but that’s me. These are a great addition in making a nut and fruit medley or trail mix. They have 2 grams of protein and 9 grams of sugar per ounce (so don’t eat too many) and lots of potassium. Great product.


Raw Incan Chocolate

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Chocolate bars are NOT made alike. I always tell my patients to stay clear of the “cheap” bars because their is a difference. When it comes to chocolate it is an amazing anti oxidant but needs to be close to 80%. The lighter the chocolate the more added ingredients such as dairy and sugar. I found this yummy but pricey “raw” bar from Agami Superfoods for $4.99. This isn’t something you eat all at once mind you as you only need a few squares to satisfy that chocolate craving. I love the creamy texture and the clean taste. I’m jazzed because this is a safe product for most candida diets. Made with: Raw organic cacao past, coconut nectar, cacao butter, yacon syrup, cacao powder, peruvian lucuma ( subtropical fruit), peppermint oil, vanilla beans…. and a lot of healthy thoughts that went into this blend. So whenever you get that craving check out the raw food section in the store where you will find the raw healthy chocolate that will fix that craving and give you some much needed antioxidants. Win Win!


Quinoa Puffs

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Was in the mood for something crunchy, gluten and dairy free and more healthy than not so I grabbed a bag of Keenwah Quinoa Puffs and I could barely get through the first and only one. They had a really bad processed taste to them and were definitely not airy like they say they are. The ingredients seemed good and when you compare them to other snacks you would pick them too if you’re health conscious. Since I always like to stay positive I will say I’ve tried some of their other products and they were good. It might be that I have become hyper sensitive with any packaged foods so I can taste “processed” really easy. That can be a bummer at times but I say it’s a blessing because it keeps me away from things I don’t need to be eating anyhow. Enough said.


Vega One Protein Powder

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I tried a packet of this in my morning smoothie yesterday and I honestly could not finish it. It had a sour taste to it that turned me off. I like Vega One company and most of their products so was surprised at the taste of this powder. I do like the fact that each serving is 20 grams of protein which is great! They also add some medicinal mushrooms and some great ingredients such as maca root (great for balancing hormones), spinach, broccoli, beet, etc., (all good for detoxing) and some super fruits like goji, mangosteen and acai. 1 billion of probiotics – yeah! Made without dairy or soy and gluten free along with organic this is a great product as far as the proprietary blend. Maybe I need to try a different flavor.


Amazing Meal Protein Powder

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Thought I would pick up a sample of some protein powders to try so I can recommend to those who like to buy them in the store.  Amazing Meal is a great company as they are focused on putting out a healthy food. I tried it this morning along with the other ingredients I add to my daily smoothie which is hemp, berries, home made coconut keifer, greens and water. Can also use unsweetened almond milk. I like that they put in some probiotics (5 billion), greens and that it’s organic. I like the taste a lot better than the Vega One powder which I also wrote up on. I also love that they put in sprouted pumpkin seeds as they are great for fighting candida. Quinoa is also added in the sprouted blend which is a great gluten free option and hemp which will give you great omega 3 and more protein. I will say in packet it only has 11 grams of protein which is pretty low compared to most powders. All in all it’s a good choice but I’m still partial to the ones we carry and use them daily myself. They have some other wonderful products too like the greens. A note to remember is they are all gluten free as they are sprouted (wheat grass, barley grass, etc., ).


Coconut Coolwhip

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When was the last time you could have coolwhip because of dairy intolerance? For me, a long time. So Delicious has put out a coconut version of coolwhip which I thought was – well – cool!  For my afternoon snack I took some organic strawberries, sliced them and put a few spoons of coolwhip on top and enjoyed it very much but the ingredients will sway me to not keep it on hand but only have occasionally. You would expect some coconut milk and sugar right? Well here are the ingredients: Water, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Dried Cane Sugar, Organic Coconut Oil, Pea Protein, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavors (red flag), Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum. Yikes! I don’t know about you but I will make my own thank you.


Rescue Pastilles

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Being in the holistic field I love the Bach products but find at times I don’t want the alcohol taste in the rescue remedies. I know there are a lot of you out there who feel the same way. Rescue Pastilles are wonderful and come in a few flavors. I picked up the cranberry since I love the tart taste. These are perfect to keep in your purse and are great tasting for all of us including the kids. Rescue Pastilles are great for an instant calming and can be used when you need to stop and breath so to speak or are about to do a presentation. Today you will see a slew of different remedies from Bach including the Bach Remedies for emotions, sleep, etc., Try incorporating them and see if they help.


Mulberry Berries

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I love superfoods and Nativas is a wonderful company who puts out some fantastic superfood products. You’ll see quite a few of them in my pantry. I thought I would pick up a bag of mulberry berries today and give them a try. I love the other “super berries” they have so thought I would give the sun-dried white mulberry a try. The initial taste was not what I expected. They are sweet for sure but have more of a mush texture as oppose to chewy. I love the nutritional value with dietary fiber, iron and vitamin C and the fact that they are a raw treat and organic. The texture is not for me but sure worth a try for you! I’m more of the chewy tart treat which they also put out with their goldenberries. Way to go Navitas!


Organic Grass Fed Beef Broth

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I talk all the time about the healing benefits of a good bone broth. Bone broth has collagen which is very healing for the GI tract and very therapeutic to the joints.  Broth is sometimes called magic elixer and if you get the right one it is. The Brothery makes up this grass fed beef bone broth (organic) and also makes the coconut soup I recently reviewed along with a wonderful vegetable broth which is my favorite.  This morning instead of my usual protein shake I took some turkey and drizzled beef broth on top as I heated it in the pan (yes, I do not use microwaves if at all possible). Was quite satisfying and a great way to start the day. There are so many recipes you can use this broth. One tip would be to put the broth in ice cube trays, freeze and use in stir fry’s or on top of leftovers while you’re heating them up. You can find their broth and you might run into their founder Chef Lance Roll at the farmers markets in San Diego while you order up a cup of hot broth and take some home as well. I’m a fan!

To learn more visit www.bonebroth.com

In her book Deep Nutrition, Dr. Cate Shanahan writes…

“The health of your joints depends upon the health of the collagen in your ligaments, tendons, and on the ends of your bones. Collagens are a large family of biomolecules, which include the glycosaminoglycans, very special molecules that help keep our joints healthy.

 


Bone Broth Soup Infused with Coconut

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Saturday visit to the Farmers Market in Vista CA I stopped by The Brothery booth where Lance Roll, CEO and Chef  has his creations. You can get a nice cup of this soup or buy a bag. Simple ingredients (Organic Chicken Bone Broth, Coconut Milk, Lemon Peel, Ginger, Mint and Sea Salt) and quite a light flair this soup is perfect for a pick me up or use it as part of your detox protocol. I happen to have had a bowl with an artichoke on the side for dinner. Can’t wait to try the beef and chicken broth so watch for that post as well. To learn more visit www.bonebroth.com.


Beaming Lean Cleanse

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Curious what Beaming Cleanse Packages were all about so I was happy to give the one day Lean Cleanse a try. The  kit came in a nice lined bag to keep everything cool and fresh. Everything for the day was ready to go with 1 vitality shot, 4 juices (two different green juices, almond milk protein smoothie and superfood elixir), 1 soup, a salad with amazing dressing and some nut topping along with some detox tea. The leancleanse was a challenge to eat everything in one day to be honest. I have to say everything tasted amazing and the ingredients which are all raw, organic, vegan and delicious were hard to consume in one day for me so if anyone thinks you can’t eat on a cleanse/detox this will change your mind.  I really enjoyed the green juices and the salad. The soup was very flavorful and the elixir was quite impressive. Day two had a mild headache and that’s coming from someone who eats pretty clean. I couldn’t get through the almond milk smoothie. Was quite filling. All in all I liked the cleanse and the convenience of it was wonderful. Worth checking out if you want a jump start to a weight loss program. The food is clean and tasty. I wish I had a bottle of the green juice and the elixir in my refrigerator all the time. Check out Beaming for more info.


Brigante Cheese – Sheep Milk

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For the many including myself who have taken cow dairy out of their diet I present a new cheese found today at Trader Joe’s called Brigante Cheese. For those of you who don’t like the strong taste of goat cheese there is an option – sheep milk cheese. It’s mild in taste and this one in particular is very creamy and melts quite nicely. I mix this with the Manchago Spanish cheese for a nice flavor in quesadillas. Trader Joe’s is a great place to find a good variety of goat and sheep milk cheeses and the prices are pretty good. If you’re wondering why goat and sheep milk cheese and not cow?  Goat milk for example is a smaller protein and closest to mothers milk so the body can digest it a lot easier than cow dairy which is a very large protein and can be inflammatory to the GI tract.


Green Vibrance

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I must admit I love Green Vibrance greens. They are not the cheapest on the shelf but they are worth all the added goodies such as probiotics (25 billion). Inside you will find 77 organic and concentrated foods and extracts they balance for good health and detox support. Nutrition dense plant concentrates, sea vegetables, prebiotics high in fiber, antioxidants and liver support, adaptogens, immune support, enzymes and tonics. Try one scoop of this in your smoothie for breakfast along with a good protein powder, berries, banana (for more prebiotics) and some almond milk (great source of calcium). I took advantage of the 25% vitamin sale at Sprouts today and bought a big container which will last 2 months. Yeah!


Coconut Milk – Kara Brand

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Picked up some of Kara coconut milk today at Sprouts since they were all out of the other brand I normally use which is whole fat. Don’t use the lite unless I’m cooking with it. I’ve been using coconut milk to make my Keifer. I use to get this brand at Frazier Farms and now it’s new to Sprouts. The price point is a lot cheaper coming in at $1.99 per container compared to $3 range. The taste is good and creamy. The only downside is they don’t have organic. The good side is they don’t use a lot of fillers you can find in some brands including organic.


Tom’s Toothpaste

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Awhile ago I got away from the toxic body care items like crest toothpaste. I’ve been using Tom’s fluoride-free, sls free and love it. It lathers in your mouth so you don’t get that chalky taste like some natural pastes have. I like the whitening toothpast peppermint with bee propolis which is a great protector. Propolis is what bee’s produce to protect the hives from foreign pathogens. Give it a try. Can find just about anywhere including Walmart, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Frazier Farms, etc.,


Emmy’s Super Cereal

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I was in Sprouts yesterday and ran across this raw cereal. Made with sprouted buckwheat groats, coconut, cocoa, raisins and coconut nectar I have to say it was tasty. You only need a small amount to satisfy your tummy. Had some this morning with unsweetened coconut milk. Love the idea of raw because it’s food that is still alive! Sprouted grains bring much more health benefits than processed by far and of course coconut is a great anti fungal tasty addition. Price was reasonable especially compared to some of the raw foods out there that can be pretty pricey. For good reason of course but non the less. Did I mention organic? Yeah! Protein comes in at 6 grams and fiber at 5 grams. Sugar is at 8 grams which fits nicely into the 25 gram daily limit on sugar. Check them out at emmysorganics.com. #raw #vegan #glutenfree 


NuttZo Nut Butters

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I finally broke down and spent the $15 on NuttZo organic nut butter. Did I mention organic? That in itself with nuts is a good reason to charge a bit. Several flavors to choose from including one with cocoa. Watch out Nutella! There is a dairy free option with a lot more nutrition. If you’re like me, I eat nut butters right out of the jar. Forget the bread! Nuts are loaded with protein and many other beneficial nutrients such as selenium in Brazil Nuts and omegas in flax and chia seeds. I got the crunchy blend with cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, flax, chia and pumpkin seeds. Quite the yummy blend of nutrition.  If you’re looking to compare because of price it’s good to know NuttZo maybe be $11-$14 range but you can also spend $8 at Trader Joes for their raw almond butter which is only almonds. In addition to a great, healthy product I have great admiration for small companies and purpose driven missions. Check out their story at www.nuttzo.com.


Hail Merry Chocolate Almond Butter Tart

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So I’m in Sprouts yesterday with a craving for a chocolate treat. Picked up Hail Merry Chocolate Almond Butter Miracle Tart and may I say ……..Yum! I managed to control myself and only eat half last night for desert but demolished the rest a few minutes ago. This is an example of a healthier version of desert. Paleo friendly, high protein (11 grams), chocolate fix. They use organic maple syrup which is common ingredient in raw treats. It’s still sugar so you want to eat small amounts which is great because treats like these are so rich in flavor you don’t want to eat a lot in one sitting. You get satisfied with smaller amounts. I give a thumbs up to Hail Merry’s for their creation. Check them out at www.hailmerry.com #dairyfree #vegan #paleo #glutenfree


Nogii Paleo Bar

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I have to balance things after my post on NoGii protein bar which I found the ingredients to be alarming. I’m hoping she is revamping her ingredients in the creation of new products. The paleo bar doesn’t have all the questionable ingredients but I will say the first two ingredients are sweeteners which isn’t impressive. There are also several fruits in addition to the sweeteners. They do have a good source of protein using cashews, almonds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds which makes me smile. Looking on their website I did see other paleo options without all the sweet. #glutenfree


Hot Cereal Bob’s Red Mill

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I’ve always been a fan of Bob’s Red Mill. I saw a new version of his hot cereal at Celiac Expo and was a bit bummed he is using soybeans and does not mention anything about non GMO and I know they are not organic. For that reason I stay away from them! On a positive note they are whole grains as opposed to processed grains so you would get benefits from the grains nutritional value. Grains are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium). The 8 grain hot cereal has flaxseed as well which adds omega 3’s. #gluten free #vegan # dairyfree


Power Puffs

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Something new from Snack out Loud at the Celiac Expo called Power Puffs. Made from plant based protein and fiber. Coconut oil as opposed to cheap yuck oil used in a lot of products.  Again, non GMO, Vegan, Nut Free and no Corn. The salt and vinegar flavor was really good. You should see these in the stores this summer – so I hear. I am pretty sure these will do well.


Bean Snack

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Here’s an interesting snack from the Celiac Expo called Crunchy Bean Snack by Snack Out Loud Foods (clever name). Good alternative if you have nut allergies as well as being gluten free. Would also like to highlight they are non GMO and Vegan. It is high in carbs (21 grams) but it has 7 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein to help the glycemic load. I like the simple ingredients and all the flavorings are actual spices (go figure). Lastly I must mention the micro nutrient benefits of Pinto Beans.  Pinto beans are packed with iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, thiamin and folate. I would keep these on hand for a quick source of energy.


Corn Thins

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Another product from the Celiac Expo I picked up made by and Australian company called Real Foods PTY LTD called Corn Thins. We’ve all seen rice cakes right? This is the same thing but they are made with corn (maize). Happy to say non GMO corn which is a plus. If you are not sensitive to corn or are dealing with candida this might be a good snack with some nut butter or a form of protein on top to balance the glycemic load. Corn has a good amount of fiber which most of us don’t get enough of. I do like that they are very thin so you can control portion and still get a taste of crunch.


Snyder’s Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks

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Another product I picked up at the Celiac Expo just to check out the ingredients in Snyder’s of Hanover company  gluten free pretzel sticks. I know we all miss pretzel’s when we go gluten free but it’s good to know what ingredients are in the gluten free version and limit what we consume. Although they might be good for a party now and again they are not a healthy snack to eat all the time. The first three ingredients are Corn starch, potato starch and tapioca starch; all processed ingredients that will certainly high in carbs. In fact I couldn’t find any real food in this product.  The label says low fat but don’t be deceived by that because low fat means higher sugar which converts to bad fat. This is definitely an occasional snack. For those working on healing the GI track I would be careful of the processed ingredients.


Dragon Fruit

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I’m always looking for a “step up” option for snacking so when I peruse the aisles in the grocery store I usually go to the raw snack/food section. Here you will find some great super fruit product from Navitas Naturals. Dragon Fruit stood out and it’s not as expensive as some others on the shelf. Dragon fruit also known as Pitaya and is native to Central and South America; now grown in Asia. This amazing super fruit is full of omega 3’s which most of us lack in our diet. The other benefit worth sharing is the magnesium which is beneficial for nerve function. Sugars are at 15 grams which is a great part of the daily 25 gram limit but at least it’s natural sugar with a little fiber and protein to help the glycemic load. Now that I have shared the nutritional value I bet your wondering how it tastes? I liked the texture a lot. It has a light crunch to it and the flavor is good. Not too overbearing, just a nice sweet crunch. Try it on your kids. Much better choice compared to say….gummy bears.


SOY JOY

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Another bar made with Soy (whole ground soybeans) with nowhere on the label saying Non GMO. Have to assume this is a GMO product. This bar contains a few dairy ingredients (milk powder, fermented milk and butter). Don’t be deceived when anything is labeled all natural. That doesn’t mean anything in the food industry and there are no current laws to protect us from this. SoyJoy label says All Natural and Natural Flavors with other Natural Flavors… what exactly does that mean? This is not a bar I would eat or recommend to anyone.


Nogii Bar

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I wonder if Elisabeth Hasselbeck has really read the ingredients in her bars and even more importantly if she actually feeds these to her family? Picked up a sample at the Celiac Expo just because I wanted to share my thoughts on this one. This is one bar is would NOT recommend. The ingredients are very processed and full of allergens and quite frankly “questionable” ingredients. Sweetened Condensed Milk? Really? There are a lot of bad ingredients to discuss here so I’ll just cover a few. Soy in many forms, all I’m assuming are GMO because I don’t see anywhere on the label otherwise (please correct me if I’m wrong). As I’ve mentioned processed soy is very inflammatory and one of the top 8 allergens. Lots of preservatives and binders such as Natural Flavor (not sure from what), Disodium Phosphate (used to adjust PH and avoid mold I’m assuming), monoglycerides which can be derived from cattle or hogs (I’m looking for vegan on the label and don’t see it which could make it derived from vegetables), peanut isolates and peanut extract (no peanut butter?), etc., Again the list is quite extensive and definitely not whole food ingredients.  This is one that frustrates me as a nutritionist.

I challenge any Mom to read all the ingredients and tell me if you would feed this to your kid or would you rather find a healthier more whole food bar?


Sarah’s Skinny Sweets

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Stopped by Sarah Skinny Sweets booth at the Celiac Expo and was very curious how she created a Paleo cookie. As you know, I’m always looking for healthier snacks without all the carbohydrates and sugar. I like that they use Coconut and Almond Flours and organic coconut oil. One of the sweeteners is apple pure (unsweetened) and Xylitol. There were several organic ingredients which I definitely support and use in my own treats. The texture was a bit spongy so don’t expect a crispy cookie. If you love soft cookies you might just like this one.  Initially, you might want to eat sparingly because of the Xylitol (sugar alcohol). A side affect can be gas, bloating and diarrhea if you’re not use to eating Xylitol. On a positive note, Xylitol does not raise the blood sugar like table sugar does so those with diabetes and insulin imbalances might be ok with Xylitol (talk to your doctor if you have any concern with any sweeteners including Xylitol). A study in rats found that Xylitol had reduced or nonexistent side effects compared to other artificial sweeteners, and lower caloric value and tooth decay than sucrose which is why you see Xylitol in a lot of healthier gums on the market.


Lavilin Deodorant

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I am a strong advocate in using natural products, especially ones we put on our skin. Our lymphatic system is affected by the toxins in your typical deodorant loaded with aluminum and parabens to name a few. These toxins absorb into your system and can cause some serious problems; especially when you wear them day in day out for years. I will admit there are many non toxic deodorants to choose from but do they really work on the smell? Quite a few I have tried don’t work as good as I’d like including Jason’s brands. I will say I have been using the Lavilin underarm roller and I like it. It goes on a little messy but works great on odor. The amazing thing is one application can last a few days – even with showering and not re applying. The cream lasts up to 7 days odor free. How cool is that? I wish I would have found this when I use to go to the desert to camp and ride my quad for long week ends. Here is some info below. Check out Lavilin website to learn more and see where you can purchase.

Lavilin 48 Hour Roll-on Deodorant is vegan, as well as aluminum, alcohol, paraben, phthalate and BHT free!

  • Up to 48 hours of odor protection with a single application.
  • Free of aluminum salts
  • Does not clog pores
  • Suitable for delicate skin
  • No aluminum, alcohol, paraben, BHT or phthalates.
  • Bathing, showering, sports and strenuous physical activities do not interfere with Lavilin’s effectiveness
  • Proven effective – tested extensively at at a leading international research center

Product Ingredients

Deionized Water, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Zinc Oxide, Capryloyl Glycine, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Maltodextrin, Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Allantoin


Sun & Earth Natural Cleaners

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I’m always looking for “natural” non toxic household cleaners and soaps and lucked out at the Expo when I ran into Sun & Earth products. They have liquid dish soap, all purpose cleaner, hand soap and laundry soap. A family owned business dedicated the a clean environment. Prices are competitive and looks like you can purchase either on line or from a list of stores such as Whole Foods. They naturally smell amazingly fresh. This is going on my list.


Sunshine Nut Company

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This is quite a unique review in that it’s more about the company than the actual products; although the cashews are amazing. Especially the herb flavor. I had the privilege of meeting the founder Don Larson of Sunshine Nut Company and once I heard his story I had to give him a high five with goose bumps of course! Their profits are re-invested in Mozambican communities with a total of 90% of our proceeds going to trans formative initiatives! Of our proceeds, 30% goes to supporting farming communities through ‘hand-up’ assistance, 30% to caring for orphans and vulnerable children, and 30% to creating new food companies! We believe our Sunshine Approach™ Philosophy has the potential to do great things! Gotta check out their website – www.sunshinenutcompany.com.


Pamela’s Whenever Bars

IMG_5495 So I wondered by Pamela’s booth at Expo West looking for new goodies coming to market. Was disappointed they are still using a lot of dairy in almost all of their products. Dairy is a close second to gluten with allergies and intolerance and more and more companies are realizing that. The only product available I could try that was gluten and dairy free was the “Whenever Bar”. I have to admit it had that processed smell to it when I opened the package. I guess I’m so use to my home made goodies that I seldom indulge in packaged cookies and bars. With only 2 grams of protein and 8 grams of sugar I would say this is more like a cookie not a bar. I also don’t like it when I see “natural flavors”. What is that anyhow? Leaves a lot of room for questions. All in all I would have to say they are just “OK.” I would more than likely not purchase them. I will however say Pamela’s does have some good mixes out there.


Roasted Coconut Chips

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I’m always looking for something healthy to snack on and I found a great company who creates roasted coconut chips called got snacks. They are not organic however they are GMO free. They have a few flavors to choose from so the flavoring varies. Some have coconut nectar as a sweetener and one I saw has cane sugar. I’m not a fan of sugar as you might know so I’d like to see it around 2 grams. Overall these are much better than a lot of snacks out there that use high fructose corn syrup; especially for kids. At least with coconut they are getting some maganese which is good for the immune and nervous system as well as lauric and capric acid which has great ant fungal properties.


Paleo Coconut Cereal

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I’m not one to eat cereal for breakfast but I do crave a good bowl before bed or after a talk for a light bite to eat. I tried the coconut flakes by Julian Bakery hit the spot. The great thing about this cereal is the protein and the fact that it isn’t made from grains. The texture was really good and the flavor was awesome. It did however crumble in the package a bit. You don’t need a huge bowl to get that satisfaction either.  Great product for a Paleo option.


Paleo Protein Bars

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I get asked all the time about protein bars; What is a good bar that is not loaded with sugar and has a substantial amount of protein and fiber. Julian Bakery created a full line of protein bars using egg whites as the protein source.  For those who can’t do egg whites there is one flavor that uses beef isolates. Yes, that’s right, beef. Another interesting ingredient is IMO (Isomalto-oligosaccharide) which is a naturally occurring plant-based dietary fiber. It is prebiotic, soluble, and low-glycemic. Another sweetener they use is monk fruit and maple imulsion to help bind oil and water which is a common technique with chefs. With that being said one bar has 2 grams of sugar and 20 grams of protein as well as 22 grams of fiber. No comparison to what I’ve seen out there.

 


Paleo Chocolate Bars

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I don’t know about you but who doesn’t love a good piece of healthy dark chocolate? Julian Bakery did a good job creating a bar that has 0 grams of sugar sweetened with stevia (an herb with zero calories). They use Erythritol (sugar alcohol derived by plants) and 3 grams of protein. The texture is smooth and taste is wonderful. For those who can’t do soy I have some good news….Paleo Chocolate bars are made without soy lecithin which is hard to find. You can grab one of these yummy treats at Sprouts or order online.


Baby Mantra Products

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Since I’m always on the look out for my patients and their family I ran across this line of baby skin care products available at Wallgreens from Baby Mantra. Definitely worth trying. Ingredients are all natural and gentle. Love that they use coconut oil, lavender oil and olive oil as there are many medicinal benefits. The lotion is really silky soft and seems to absorb nicely. Mom’s you can dab a bit on yourself as well. They have quite a nice line of products to choose from including bubble bath, body wash. shampoo, detangling conditioner as well as a nice massage oil. Wonderful!


Paleo Cookies

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Ever want a gluten free cookie without all the additives and sugar? I tried a few flavors from Julian Bakery and was quite intrigued with the simple ingredients such as cashews, coconut flour, orange pulp, tumeric, stevia to name a few. For those who like the taste of cookie dough you’ll love the chocolate chip. For me it also had a spongy texture. I would say these are a better choice than most of the gluten free cookies in the stores. At least if your kids enjoy them they won’t be bouncing off the walls from sugar.

 


Almond Pops – where are the almonds?

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Wanted something crunchy with a good source of protein and a bit of carbohydrates so I picked up a bag of 180 Degree brand almond cashew pops. If you look on the bag they sure look appetizing but the problem is when you open the bag you sure don’t see the same thing. Looking at the ingredients list “again once I saw the actual product” I started to question the actual sequence accuracy. First two ingredients are oven baked almonds. It is obvious the company has put a lot less nuts and a lot more rice in the product and should be listing rice as the first ingredient. Very disappointing and would not recommend this product for the shear fact that the ingredients are mostly rice.


Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups

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Was at Costco yesterday and saw Justin’s Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cups. Kind of had a craving for a bite of sweet so I checked out the ingredients. All organic and the individual cups were a perfect size. The box comes with 28 individual wrapped cups of 0.5 oz each and a wonderful 80 calories. Perfect treat size. Price with coupon was  around $8 which was a good deal.


Hazelnut Flour

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If you are looking for an alternative to almond flour/meal you might want to try Hazelnut Meal/Flour by Bob’s Red Mill. For starters Bob’s Red Mill is a wonderful company and Bob himself is a very humble man who has honored his employees by giving them the company. There are a lot of products they make and some are not gluten free so be careful. I make a lot of paleo cookies, meaning no grains. Using nut flours/meals are a fantastic way to put protein in your cookies and treats as opposed to refined flours (gluten free or not). I recently made a batch of cookies with the hazelnut flour instead of almond meal. If you like the taste of hazelnuts you will love this flour. Next batch I think I will mix the two flours (almond and hazelnut) and see how that goes as I didn’t care for the strong flavor of hazelnut as much as the almond. Check out the cookie recipe.


Nugo Slim Bars

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Nugo Slim Bars from Nu Go Nutrition were worth a try since I was on the hunt for some new bars. The calories looks inviting at 180 along with only 3 grams of sugar and 7 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein. Wasn’t impressed with the ingredients or flavor. It tasted like a diet bar…very “grainy”which might have been the Microcrystalline cellulose (used as an anti caking agent in vitamins) which left a funny after taste. The bar was made with soy crisps and soy powder as well as peanut powder. Both on the top 8 allergens. Seemed very “processed” to me so with that I give it a thumbs down.


Artisana Coconut Butter

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Artisana puts out a great “organic” “raw” coconut butter.  Different from coconut oil which is extracted from the coconut meat, coconut butter is the whole coconut flesh. You can use it in place of butter and is another super food ingredient in raw treats. Some reasons to use coconut butter. A little bit goes a long way.

It’s rich in lauric acid, which boosts immunity and destroys harmful bacteria, viruses, and funguses.

It actually boosts your metabolism, which aids in weight loss and increases energy levels.

It’s packed with healthy fats, so you feel full longer.

It’s full of essential amino acids, calcium, and magnesium.


Nutiva Red Palm Oil

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Another great product from Nutiva, Red Palm Oil. This buttery culinary oil is awesome in stir fry creations, sauces and sauteing. Can be used in baking as well. Full of anti oxidant vitamins A and E. It was prized by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt as a sacred food. The oil was so highly valued that it was entombed with the Pharaohs so that they would have access to it in the afterlife. Who wouldn’t want to add that to your diet.


Nutiva Coconut Oil

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Most people are aware of coconut oil and it’s benefits. What you might not know if the importance of choosing a good quality coconut oil. I found this gem at Costco for a very reasonable price. Nutiva puts out high quality organic oils. Everything about this brand is clean including the packaging. The flavor is ideal and wonderful to use in raw treats. Can add to smoothies and your pets food. Use a teaspoon or so (softened) drizzled over your pets food. Does wonders for their skin and coat. Works wonders on our skin as well as a great anti fungal, anti inflammatory super fat.


Nutritional Yeast

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For those dairy free – vegan folks looking for ways to add that cheezy flavor to popcorn, broccoli or pasta, Nutritional Yeast is a great option. It’s a non active yeast which is fine for those battling candida. Loaded with vitamins and minerals especially B vitamins. It’s non GMO and has no sugar. I keep a canister on hand at all times and highly recommend this product.


Snakarola Clusters

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If I’m in the mood for a packaged treat I usually visit the raw section first. Picked up Snakarola Cherry Ginger flavor from Laughing Giraffe Company. Ingredients are all organic and whole foods which is healthy. Walnuts and Pecans along with agave, dried cherries, ginger powder, vanilla and pink salt. I liked the flavor a lot but felt like there was not enough of the cherries to offset the walnut taste. Sugars aren’t bad at 8 grams. I expected more protein than the 8 grams per serving. All in all a healthy go to ‘raw” “organic” snack with good flavor.


Maca Powder

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Another superfood by Navitas Naturals – MACA Powder. Maca is great for the endocrine system meaning great for hormone balancing and boosts the libido. Maca also combats fatigue. Maca is great in smoothies (add a teaspoon or two) and also works great added to raw treats.

Check out our recipes using Maca Powder.


Raw Cocao Powder

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When we say eat chocolate we mean raw – pure cacao. One of my favorite raw companies – Navitas Naturals. I use their raw cocao powder in a lot of my raw treat recipes. All their products are organic and of course raw. Cacao is a Mayan Superfood for sure and is full of anti oxidants. A great way to getting added fiber (4 grams per serving) with no sugar. You also get a chalk full of magnesium and potassium. Also available in cocao nibs which work great in cookies and raw treats. I give this a thumbs up yummy!


22 Days Nutrition Bars

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Something new I saw in Sprouts this week. Thought I would give them a try. 22 Days Nutrition Company had a few bars to choose from. All Organic (non-GMO), gluten free, soy free, plant based and dairy free. Since it’s hard to find an allergy friendly bar like this I bought all three flavors. The bar is a good size and was quite tasty. They are around 280 calories with 20 grams of protein, 9-12 grams of fiber and 11-15 grams of sugar (a bit high for my liking). Ingredient are a bit processed: brown rice protein concentrate, tapioca syrup, almonds, agave inulin syrup, dates, coconut, chocolate chips (with sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter and vanilla) and flax seeds. I would rate this bar as a good “treat” not a meal or snack replacement because of the processed ingredients. All in all for a grab and go bar to curb your appetite or for a sweet craving it’s yum!


Vega Bar

Vega bar I’m always looking for a healthy bar that has low sugar and of course protein. There are literally thousands of bars out there and a lot of unhealthy ones at that. Today I tried Vega Snack Bar with mixed nuts and sea salt. Vega as you might know makes vegan powders as well. I liked the idea of the bar having nuts, seeds and of course dark chocolate. One of my favorite combinations. The bar has 200 calories, 4 grams of protein, a few grams of fiber and 8 grams of sugar. For those gluten and dairy free folks out there looking for a bar to have on hand this is pretty good. The sugar is lower than most  bars out there. I’ve seen some bars with 24 grams of sugar which is a days worth. I give this one a thumbs up.

 


Schar Baguettes

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I’m not one that eats much bread. Keeping carbs low is key in keeping weight in check. Simple carbs like bread converts to glucose (sugar) a lot quicker than complex carbs like say a sweet potato. I will allow myself to indulge on occasion which goes with my 80/20 rule.  I found a baguette that is not only gluten free but also dairy free; unfortunately they use soy protein. In fact, Schar company uses a lot of soy in their products. I was having a guest over for dinner and thought I’d try the baguette to go with our dinner. Boy I wish I hadn’t (in a good way). Cooked in 10 minutes on 400 degrees and was just like I remember when I ate them years ago; only these are gluten free. These are crunchy on the outside and nice and light on the inside. Definitely an occasional treat. Yes, sticking to the occasional to keep candida away and waist in place.  Bottom line – Gluten and dairy free however not soy free and they use white rice flour which is very high on the glycemic index. Now, if they can just come out with a good Paleo baguette I’ll be jazzed.


Mary’s gone Ginger Snaps

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I’m one who rarely buys cookies off the shelf because I make my own with functional ingredients and always gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. With that being said, I made an exception the other day at Sprouts when I spotted some Ginger Snaps of sale. Mary’s Gone Crackers has some great products and she is cautious about her ingredients which is hard to come by in packaged snacks. I admit I was expecting to have a few bites and add it to the pile of yuk  foods that don’t compare to what I make. Pleasantly surprised, I really enjoyed them. Looking at a long list of ingredients always scares me however they use organic gluten free grains which is wonderful (non GMO) and quite a few at that in their blend. It’s nice to see whole grains and no white rice flour. They do use coconut so beware if you have an allergy. Sugar content is 9 grams per 3 cookies so not so bad when you need that sugar fix and are trying to stay under 25 grams per day. Mary’s Ginger Snaps are gluten free, vegan, organic (non GMO) and soy free.


Epic Organic Gluten Free Jerky

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Saw Epic Organic Jerky today in Sprouts and thought I’d give it a try. They have Bison, Turkey and Beef to choose from. All organic and pretty healthy. Funny enough they are in the bar section of the store which is genius placement. Was a little thicker than I like but was looking forward to the chewy beefy flavor you get in a good quality piece of beef jerky. When I bit into it, the piece literally crumbled in my mouth which was an unpleasant surprise. I was not able to eat it because of the texture issue. The flavor didn’t seem bad but I’ve never had a piece of any jerky crumble. Disappointed.


Coconut Wraps

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Staying away from bread for the most part I ran across these coconut wraps from Julian Bakery. Wrapped some gluten free lunch meat, spinach, goat cheese and avocado in the curry flavor wrap. May I say yum!

These are great for paleo, gluten free, vegan diets and fantastic in a weight loss plan.  The only downside is they are a bit pricey however you can order them online for a better deal.  www.julianbakery.com 

 


Cheeky Monkey

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I was turned onto an  interesting new snack called Cheeky Monkey. For those of you who like the crunch of Cheetos this is a whole new (and possibly healthier) experience and one without any dairy, gluten or sugar. It’s a nice vegan organic treat for kids if you’re looking for a substitute to Cheetos however it does have peanuts and corn. I do like the fact that they are not fried which is a bonus if you have an inflamed gut. I have to say it was quite a surprise with the first bite as I was expecting a very different flavor profile. I can see how they can be addicting and fun with the crunch factor.  Just because it’s peanut butter and you get a decent serving of protein (3.5 grams) it’s not a meal replacement.

You can check them out at www.cheekymonkeyorganic.com

 


Happy Pantry

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One company I ran into recently at an event promoting farmers, entrepreneurs such as myself was Happy Pantry. They had a tabletop sampling their raw fermented sauerkraut. I have to say I couldn’t stand the smell let alone taste of sauerkraut for years but as I’ve changed my tune on healthy foods I gave it a go. I was impressed by the refreshing taste. I tried two flavors and was equally impressed. The flavors were yin and yang. The original had a mild well balanced flavor and the other was a bold spicy blend that danced in my mouth. On a nutritional point, fermented foods like Happy Pantry’s are very healthy for the digestive system. They are natural probiotics that help keep the GI on track with good bacteria; helping the immune system stay strong. Being a raw food there is no “processing” involved in the conventional sense. The food is “alive” just as nature intended us to eat!
Great job guys. 

 


BJ’s Restaurant

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I’m a pretty patient person but when I have to look at a “spreadsheet” to find what I can safely order (without any help from the staff) I am a bit disappointed. It’s pretty easy to create a menu that is gluten free so what gets challenging is creating a menu that is easy to navigate for any food allergy. BJ’s did have a gluten free menu however there was nothing on there I could have off the menu. I put my thinking cab on and ordered grilled chicken (after confirming it was gluten free) on a side salad. Needless to say I was hungry shortly after. For those who can eat dairy you are in luck. BJ’s does have gluten free pizza which is what most people go there for.

It’s up to use to continue to educate the restaurant staff in understanding how serious food can affect us.

 

 


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